In the time between getting home from work on Friday and making my way to The Griffin for some hot Atwater action, I made yogurt. In doing so, I signed my life away into some weird yogurt making society that has its claws on me tighter than the Church of Scientology on baby Suri.
When I replied to that fated work email, I didn't know I was joining a cult. Someone was offering a bit of starter for something called 'Caspian Sea yogurt.' You add milk, let it sit for 8 hours, and voila. Romantic images of skinny French women and their yaourtières, and Greek island women pouring honey over thick homemade yogurt filled my head, and so I replied. Next day, a friendly woman stepped into my office with a tiny tupperware full of something that I believed to be both Caspian Sea yogurt, and Caspian Sea yogurt starter (it should be noted here that this product named for the Caspian has nothing to do with the eponymous body of water and actually comes from Japan. I'm holding judgment).
So, now I've made the leap into the cult of yogurt, how did production go? Well, it took a little longer than 8 hours -- I let mine sit overnight. But in the morning I had several containers of a yogurt that was a little less firm than what I buy from the store, and a little stretchier. I tried both whole and low-fat (2%) milk. They were similar in texture, but the whole milk was a little heavier. Both had a tangy taste that, if it were a little stronger, would be gross, but as it was, was fine -- natural tasting, which was the point of making it myself, right?
It was extremely easy, and now I can have all-natural organic yogurt (provided I use organic milk) ever available in the fridge -- breakfast for days. I even sweetened and froze a portion, breaking up the icy bits every couple hours -- instant natural frozen yogurt!
So, friends, if anyone is interested in making their own Caspian sea yogurt, I'd be glad to give you some starter -- just let me know. Come on, you know you wanna join the club.